SANTA CLARA (KCBS) – Concussions in sports were addressed at a conference at Santa Clara University on Thursday, with San Francisco 49ers legend Ronnie Lott as one of the main speakers.

The Hall of Fame defensive back said the National Football League’s new rules aimed at preventing hard hits still need to trickle down to youth sports.

“As we think about this game of football, and some of the messages I just listened to, we have a long way to go to make this game safer,” said Lott.

The symposium comes several weeks after the NFL settled a lawsuit with retired players, who said they have developed brain disorders caused by concussions.

Dr. Cindy Chang, a sports medicine specialist, said while concussions are always serious, the goal is not to scare people.

“What we don’t want to do is say, oh my goodness, my kid is at risk of having a concussion and getting his bell rung, or getting a traumatic brain injury, which is going to impact him for the rest of his life,” she said. “We do know that sports and exercise are great for all of us and we want to participate in that.”

The conference focused on what needs to be done to make all sports safer, from football to hockey.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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